Concern from Members regarding high bills
Cold Weather Creates Higher Usage Resulting in Higher Bills
Recently Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative has had an influx of concern from members about high bills. We understand that thus far we have encountered a mild winter – however, the cold snap we experienced caused a large spike in usage.
The graphs below show how cold temperatures can significantly increase energy usage. The red and blue lines are the day’s high and low temperatures. As an Arctic blast arrived on Jan. 14, these member’s DAILY usage (as seen in the green, orange and blue usage bars) nearly doubled or tripled their average usage. On average all these members had normal energy usage – until the cold weather arrived and stayed until the 17th. On Jan. 14, the high was about 22 degrees and the low dropped to about13. If the thermostat is set to 75, that’s a major 50+-degree difference during the day and 60+-degree difference at night that the heating unit must overcome. Compare that to the 25-degree difference an air conditioner must overcome to keep indoor temperatures at 75 degrees on a 100-degree day.
As the weather moved into our service area, all four members used approximately as much energy in those four days as they had the entire 13 days prior. For reference, one graph shows an entire electric house, second graph reflects a meter on a barn which also has a pool, hot tub, and a RV plugged into it, the third is an all-electric house with a wood burning fireplace with a pool, and finally a member with a gas fireplace, stove, and oven.
Although you may not have touched your thermostat, with outside temperatures dropping so dramatically, heating units must use more electricity to maintain the desired temperature indoors. We also want to emphasize that while heat pumps do use less energy and are far more efficient than space heaters(space heaters can also significantly increase your usage), heat pumps become less efficient and often switch to “emergency heat” or “resistance heat” when temperatures drop to the lower 30s. That can increase energy usage by up to three times!
You can find energy saving tips on our website www.gcec.net under the energy efficiency tab.
We are here to serve you and understand the frustration a higher than anticipated bill can cause. Our Member Services Department can be reached at 903-482-7100and our friendly MSR’s will be happy to discuss with you your bill and usage. We also offer free energy audits to help you better understand your homes energy usage.